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A handy Pixel calling feature is coming to all Android phones (Updated)
- Google has announced the ability to reply by text during phone calls.
- This means you don’t have to speak during a phone call.
- The feature used to be a Pixel exclusive but is now coming to all Android phones.
Update, December 1, 2023 (02:00 PM ET): In the original article below, we erroneously say that this new feature for all Android phones is inspired by a Samsung feature called Bixby Text Call. However, we have learned that this is actually a feature first introduced on Pixel devices in 2022 and is now making its way to all Android phones instead of being a Pixel exclusive. We regret the error. We have left the original article unchanged below, but please understand that the information there is not entirely accurate.
Original article, November 30, 2023 (12:00 PM ET): Samsung announced the nifty Bixby Text Call feature roughly a year ago, letting you type out messages to a caller and have it be read aloud to them. This way, you don’t have to speak when taking a call.
“Plus, you’ll soon have the ability to reply during phone calls by texting a response that’s read aloud — making it possible to take calls without needing to hear them or respond with your voice,” Google explained in a blog post, without adding any more details.
Android text call: A big win for accessibility
It’s therefore unclear whether this Android text call feature will be restricted to certain regions for now. There’s also no word on supported languages (we’re guessing English, at the very least) or whether there are specific device requirements. It does stand to reason, however, that this isn’t a Pixel-exclusive feature given that this was announced as part of an Android Feature Drop rather than a Pixel Feature Drop.
Nevertheless, we hope this feature is widely available. This could be extremely useful for people with speech impairments or for those who simply don’t feel like talking on the phone.
We’ve asked Google about the text call feature’s availability and device requirements. We’ll update the article if/when the company gets back to us.